As I mentioned in the previous post, a number of readers have suggested to me over the last couple of days that now would be a good time to crowdfund a second Scot Goes Pop poll on independence. The Cummings scandal has already led to really remarkable slumps in Boris Johnson's approval ratings and in the Conservative lead in GB-wide polls. It's conceivable - and I only say conceivable - that there might have been a similar effect on the independence question, and some people are keen to find out. To be honest, I was unsure if it was such a great idea to attempt to crowdfund in the middle of a pandemic when many people are struggling, so I asked for your views, and the reaction to the proposal was largely positive - albeit not unanimously so.
We'll give it a whirl and see how it goes. Last time around I contacted five different polling companies, and they each quoted different prices, so even if we fall a bit short of the target figure, it may still be possible to run a poll if I shop around a bit and limit the number of questions.
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Hi, my name's James Kelly, and I run the pro-independence blog Scot Goes Pop, which has a particular emphasis on opinion poll analysis. You might remember that back in January, I decided to step into the breach due to a mysterious lack of polls on independence since the general election. With your help, I commissioned a poll from Panelbase which confirmed, as we all suspected, that there had been a significant swing to Yes as a result of Brexit becoming an inevitability.
In recent days, there has been another landmark event with the potential to cause a major shift in public opinion. The revelations about the Prime Minister's chief adviser, and his subsequent refusal to resign, has led to hurt and anger among millions of people who have made considerable personal sacrifices to obey the lockdown rules since March. We already know that the Conservative lead in Britain-wide polls has fallen sharply as a result, and it's reasonable to wonder if it may have caused some No voters in Scotland to think again about independence.
A number of people have asked me to put that to the test by commissioning a second Scot Goes Pop poll on independence. If this crowdfunder is successful, that's what will happen. The new poll will ask the standard independence question 'Should Scotland be an independent country?', and will also ask for party political voting intentions to see if those have been altered by the events of recent days. There will be room for a few supplementary questions of interest to the Yes movement - I have some ideas, but I'll ask for suggestions before making a final decision.
Before you donate, bear in mind that there's no guarantee whatsoever that the poll will show a swing to Yes. Just because we may feel that's intuitively likely doesn't mean that we're right. The purpose of the exercise is to find out one way or the other - although if by any chance there is a boost for Yes, the poll could provide some useful momentum for the independence campaign as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased.
Bear in mind also that there's always a chance that an independence poll could suddenly appear in a newspaper at any time. Even if that happens, I'll take the Mastermind approach of "I've started so I'll finish". There would still be considerable value in a 'second opinion' from a further poll, and the supplementary questions would still be well worth asking.
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